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hello and welcome back to nhk world "newsline." i'm raja pradhan with the news from tokyo. troops in central russia have found a crater following reports that a meteor came crashing down to earth. residents saw something streak through the sky, heard explosions and watched as windows shattered. flying glass injured hundreds of people. video shows a bright burning object streaking across the sky on friday in the chelyabinsk region. that's 1,500 kilometers east of moscow. the object left a trail of smoke. people heard a series of explosions. officials say the object's impact shattered windows, and they say flying glass hurt about 500 people including 30 children. the officials say it damaged at
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least 300 buildings including a zinc factory in the main city, chelyabinsk. mobile phone networks went down for a while. schoolteachers canceled classes for the day. troops searched for debris from the meteor. they found a whole 8 meters in diameter in a frozen lake 70 kilometers west of chelyabinsk, and they found a crater nearby. some reports say say people have found at least three objects that appear to be part of the meteor within 100 kilometers of chelyabinsk. >> translator: a small asteroid entered the earth's atmosphere and started burning. it looked like a bright fireball in the sky. the meteor fell faster than the speed of sound, and we believe the shockwave is what shattered the windows. with this kind of size, it's very difficult to detect until it actually hits the earth. it's fair to say this event was completely unforeseen.
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north korea's nuclear test this week drew stern reactions from neighbors. japanese leaders denounced the test and they're getting toward impose new sanctions. now the north koreans have hit back with their own denunciation. the state-run korean run news agency criticized them in a commentary. it accused the japanese of using the missile test at an opportunity to militarize their country in partnership with the united states. it said the japanese are trying to gain by making false accusations. north korea leaders are using what would have been the birthday of their late leader to justify their nuclear tests. officials gathered in pyongyang ahead of what would have been the 71st birthday of kim jong-il. they listened to speeches by senior government leaders. number two leader praised kim jong-il for having promoted development of nuclear weapons. he said the test this week was a
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fair response to a u.s. violation of north korea's legitimate right to launch a satellite. and he said the army and the people will step up their fight to defend the country's sovereignty. researchers in the united states believe north korea could be preparing a new missile launch. their analysis is based on recent satellite photos of a launch site in the northeast of the country. researchers at johns hopkins university looked at images of the launch site in musudan-ri. they compared photos taken in january with shots from three months earlier. the photos show a crane pointing in a different direction. part of the launchpad has been cleared of snow. the researchers say this activity could point to another missile test. the researchers also report that a new launchpad is being upgraded. they say it's being fitted with three large fuel tanks and a flame trench cover to protect large rockets from exhaust gases. they note the cover appears
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similar to the one used in iran, indicating possible assistance from tehran. the researchers estimate construction could be completed in 2016. they say it would enable north korea to launch rockets three to four times larger than previous versions. north korean officials used the musudan-ri site to launch long-range ballistic missiles in 2006 and 2009. now, south korean defense ministry officials cia they remain on alert for the possibility of another nuclear test in the north. spoke person said the north koreans have been preparing for a nuclear test at a southern tunnel in addition to the western one that was used on tuesday. kim said the entrance of the western tunnel appears to be intact after the underground explosion. he said no radioactive materials have been detected because the tunnel had containment walls to prevent an outflow of blast winds. meanwhile, army commanders are preparing south korean
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troops in case of a military conflict they held an artillery exercise and invited the media to observe. the second artillery brigade conducted a shelling drill near the demilitarized zone. canine self-pro felled howitzers and multi-launchers fired at targets. soldiers checked their speed and accuracy. >> translator: if we face any military provocation we will strike the enemy with overwhelming firepower. we will destroy the aggressors and their supporting units. >> south korean military leaders have released video footage of recently deployed cruise missiles. they're intensifying efforts to deter the north. russian officials in charge of power generation have taken a
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step that could draw sharp reaction from leaders in japan. they have given an affiliate of a u.s. company a contract to build the generating plant on one of four islands held by russia and claim by japan. the officials gave a $30 million contract called sakhalin machinery. the company is based in the capital of the island of sakhalin. workers will build a geothermal power plant on the island of kunasati. they man to start construction this year and have the plant running in 2015. japanese leaders oppose any involvement in economic activity on the island by a third country. they fear the russians could try to use such involvement to justify their control of four islands, including sakhalin. tokyo electric power company has begun accepting bids for alternative suppliers of electricity.
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this is to cover a shortfall stemming from the halted operations at japan's nuclear power plants following the nuclear accident in fukushima. about 50 companies including steelmakers and trading houses are taking part in the bidding process. the firms that win will begin supplying a total of 2.6 million kilowatts of power between 2019 and 2021. this amount will be equal to the power generation from two nuclear power plants. tepco made it a condition that the bidding price would be below about ten cents per one kilowatt hour. coal-fired thermal fire plants will be favored candidates due to their lower costs. but environment minister nobuteru ishihara has expressed his concern. ishihara says building now thermal power plants or expanding existing ones will push up greenhouse gas emissions. people in beijing are struggling through a cloud of smog. a major cause is automobile
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emissions and one way to tackle the problem is to introduce electric vehicles. nhk's akihiro has the story. >> reporter: in beijing, the problem of air pollution is growing worse. a major source of the smog is the emissions from vehicles. >> translator: i think cars are responsible for most of the emissions in beijing. >> translator: if environmentally friendly cars catch on, i think the situation will improve. >> reporter: the pollution is prompting people to consider electric vehicles. beijing automotive group is one of china's five biggest automakers. it has ties with foreign companies such as daimler and hyundai. it is now stepping up its output of electric vehicles. this brand can produce 20,000
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units a year. it has already sold 50 vehicles to a local taxi company and is setting up battery charging stations in the city. although the recharging process takes over six hours, the cars can run nearly 100 kilometers on a single charge. so far, electric vehicles have not caught on as much as in the west. >> translator: eco-friendly cars have only just arrived in china. so people don't know about them or they think they're expensive. >> reporter: the beijing automaker has set up a facility where people can find out about electric vehicles and how they contribute to protecting environment. the company also has plans to develop vehicles running on ethanol and natural gas. generally, a forum on eco-friendly vehicle was held in china to discuss the promotion
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of electric cars. the main focus of the meeting was how to reduce production costs. electric vehicles cost about $27,000 to $43,000, far above the reach of ordinary chinese, even with government subsidies of around $60,000. >> translator: we need to make the electric car business profitable without relying on government subsidies. >> reporter: china's government is determined to overcome this challenge. it has set a production target of 5 million electric vehicles by 2020. >> translator: up to now, we've just been laying the groundwork for an eco car industry. from now, we need to develop an increased sales. i'm sure that by 2020 the future will be bright for electric cars and other environmentally friendly vehicles. >> reporter: as air pollution gets worse, more people in china
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are starting to call for action such as cutting car emissions. introducing electric cars will help achieve that. but for now, that remains only a long-term solution. akihiro, nhk world, beijing. up to 39 foreigners who died in sten in the hostage crisis, ten were japanese nationals. it is serving as an inspiration to some people. a retired employee at jgc corporation in yokohama. he recently visited the company to pay his respects to a former colleague who died in the
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algerian hostage crisis. he was a top advisor and former vice president of jjc corporation. the two men attended the same conference and joined jyc within a year of each other. their desks faced each other. he rermed hmembers how devoted to getting his work done, often working on his days off. >> he always worked hard on a new project. his clients thought highly of his work. i think that was not just because of his ability, but also for his sincere approach and strong desire to be successful. >> he became involved in the algeria project three years after joining jjc. he went on to lead many projects
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around the world. he became a top advisor for the firm last june. he was deeply moved by his death. he has decided to return to jjc because he still had many things to accomplish. i hope to work as long as possible by carrying out his wishes. >> many people have been moved by the deaths of the japanese in algeria. thousands have visited the headquarters to pay their respects. they said prayers and left flowers. some have sent letters. they didn't consider the deceased as just engineers. they believe they were helping develop the algerian economy, and there have helping the algerian people. they kept a presence in the
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country for more than 40 years, even during the civil war in the 1990s. the story has inspired other japanese to make a change. shingo works as a system engineer, he recently visited the japan cooperation agency. he has been looking for a chance to take part in development work overseas. >> the victims worked hard, and risked their lives. i do not understand why they were killed. i may not be able to do much, but i would like to contribute to international society as much as possible. >> he, and many others in japan, don't want the workers to have died for nothing. they want to honor them with their words and their actions.
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ntk world, tokyo. the hostage crisis frustrated japanese officials as conflicting information trickled in. prime minister abay says he wants to deal with emergencies better. >> translator: i want to create an environment where we can properly discuss diplomatic and national security issues on a daily basis from a strategic viewpoint that will enable us to deal with various matters more swiftly and with stronger political leadership. >> abe was speaking on friday at the first meeting of an expert panel. the experts will discuss the role of the japanese national security council and how it should gather and analyze intelligence. here are the latest market figures.
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the united states carried out nearly 70 nuclear tests in the marshall islands for over a decade after world war ii. the pacific nation was under u.s. control at the time. one of dozens of islands making up the marshalls. it was contaminated in 1954 by radioactive fallout from a test conducted in the bikini atoll 200 kilometers away. the residents were forced to evacuate to other islands. it was an the 1990s the u.s. responsible for the damage and
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beginning the clean-up work. they are urging former residents to come home. but that's not happening. nhk world visited the island to find out why. >> reporter: rongelap is awaiting the return of 400 ex-residents living elsewhere. houses are already being built. and about 70 workers are there now to get the infrastructure ready. they undergo safety checks for internal exposure once every three months. it's been three years since u.s. officials declared it safe for the islanders to come back. rongelap officials are naturally keen on reviving the island.
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>> the resettling the population is pretty much the priority we've set. >> reporter: there is interest from abroad, too. a team from a japanese peace organization came to the island in january. the members, including medical experts, wanted to verify the effects of the cleanup. they measured radiation levels in 18 locations around the island's residential district. contaminated soil had been removed from there. all of the readings confirmed that there is no danger to health. but prohibitive costs meant the u.s. cleanup work covered only the residential area of 15 hectares. the team also took measurements at nine locations that have not been cleaned up. the level at one of the places exceeded u.s. standards. bitter experience in the past has made the islanders distrust
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the u.s. claims that the island is safe. three years after the 1954 test, the u.s. said rongelap was safe, and the people could go back, but some who resettled developed thyroid cancer and leukemia. u.s. experts examined the situation. they detected high levels of radioactive cesium in those who had returned to the island. but none of that study was made public at the time. many rongelap islanders live in the marshall capital 650 kilometers away from the island. the japanese team visited them, too. 73-year-old abon was exposed to the radiation when she was a girl.
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she suffers from health problems and takes eight different drugs every day. 18 years ago, she underwent surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid. >> translator: i'm not convinced that the island is really safe. it's not yet time to return. >> reporter: the islanders met with the japanese visitors. they asked how radiation levels are being monitored after the nuclear accident in fukushima. the team suggested that the islanders take dosimeters with them when they resettle in rongelap. >> translator: i am grateful for
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this useful information. we should continue to tackle the problems by working together. >> reporter: amid so much uncertainty and fear, the islanders have yet to see a clear end to their struggle to regain their long, lost home nearly six decades after the u.s. nuclear test. yusuke ota, nhk world, rongelap, marshall islands. ♪ people have been using this unconventional instrument to produce this haunting sound for more than a century. it's called a musical saw. musicians play it with a bow and the result, as you can hear, is distinctive.
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and that sound reaches people who usually miss out on music. ♪ >> reporter: students in shiga prefecture attended a music conference in december. the musician was performing on a saw, and his audience were all hard of hearing but that didn't stop them from enjoying the music. ♪ >> reporter: inayama often performs for the hard of hearing when he is not teaching economics at a university. >> translator: i want to help people who have never heard music before feel its joy. >> reporter: inayama first learned about the instrument about 30 years ago after
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watching a comedian play a tune on a saw. he taught himself how to play one, too. now he can play more than 200 tunes. he and a manufacturer have developed a flexible saw specially for music. one day, he performed in front of an elderly woman. she was hard of hearing but her reaction astonished him. >> translator: i noticed that she was quietly singing along. i was surprised that she could actually hear the music. >> reporter: that was how he came to realize that the hearing impaired can actually hear saw music. so he began performing at nursing homes. but how is it possible that people who have severe trouble hearing can hear the sound of the saw? we asked a specialist. >> translator: the saw music produces what is very close to a pure frequency.
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it has no other complicating frequencies. ♪ >> reporter: what we usually hear in music are several different frequencies mixed together. ♪ for example, the violin, it creates a jagged sound wave. that means there's more than one frequency. meanwhile, the saw makes more refined sound waves. this tells us the structure of the music's frequency is simple. they call this pure frequency. people with hearing problems have trouble picking up complex sounds. they do better with simple sounds. that's why the hearing impaired students invited inayama to perform at their school. ♪
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>> reporter: everyone became wrapped up in playing saw instruments. >> translator: now that they know they can hear the sound of the musical saw, i hope they will form a club. they looked so happy. i'm glad i could pass along the joy of music. ♪
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>> reporter: inayama has since traveled to thailand to play for hearing impaired students. his mission is to bring the pleasure of music to anyone whose world is muffled or is silent. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land awating to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy, but step by step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." next is the three-day outlook on the weather around the globe.
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that's all for now on this edition of "newsline." i'm raja pradhan with the news from tokyo. thanks for watching and have a good day, wherever you are.

PBS February 15, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 11, Beijing 5, Nhk 5, China 5, North Korea 4, Chelyabinsk 4, Tokyo 4, Marshall 3, United States 3, Newsline 3, Kim Jong-il 2, Japan 2, North Koreans 2, Algeria 2, Fukushima 2, Tepco 1, Korea 1, Hopkins University Looked 1, Beijing Automaker 1, Daimler 1
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